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I was watching a YouTube video the other day and I found a sentence that intrigued me. The woman, Jessica Vill, was talking about her wig collection and when describing one of the wigs she said

There's no shine whatsoever to it, um, and, it's so much more thicker.

Obviously, she should have used a regular form of the adjective in that case ('more thick') so the sentence seems incorrect. The woman in the video is a native speaker of English from the United States and grew up in Florida. Additionally, this is not the first time that I heard a native speaker of English use the word 'more' with a comparative form of the adjective, which brings me to my question:

Is it correct to use 'more' in combination with comparative adjectives?

Also, I am wondering if some of you have ever heard a similar sentence before? Is such a structure being frequently used among speakers of English?

Link to the video (around 7:18 mark)

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    The "correct" and "formal" way of saying it is: It's much thicker (thick---thicker---(the) thickest) – Mari-Lou A Apr 25 '18 at 14:04
  • Just added the link as well some info about the girl – Edyta Orłowska Apr 25 '18 at 14:08
  • the most unkindest cut of all. The most hurtful or malicious thing that one could say to another. The phrase originated in Shakespeare's Julius Caesar in a description of Caesar's murder.{idioms.thefreedictionary.com/the+most+unkindest+cut+of+all} – mahmud koya Apr 25 '18 at 14:17
  • I think this is just someone who is talking in front of a video camera without a script, who made a slip up. Saying that, the "error" e.g. much more funnier, much more easy, is an interesting one, and one I catch myself doing when I am speaking quickly. – Mari-Lou A Apr 25 '18 at 14:17
  • One structure that is not "being frequently used among native speaker [sic] of English" is is being frequently used (except perhaps in Indian English, which seems married to -ing forms). – AmE speaker Apr 25 '18 at 15:41
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The utterance is

This [wig] is made out of the Yaki synthetic hair, not the typical synthetic hair. And whenever, just FYI, whenever you guys are doing, um, characters with really thick hair such as Rapunzel, get Yaki synthetic hair because it looks so much more realistic [than other synthetic hair]: there's no shine whatsoever to it, um, and it's so much more thicker [than other synthetic hair]. Um, so I really, really, really, really recommend this.

The woman was 21 when the video was published, and she seems to be quite aware of what she is saying and not stumbling for words. That she uses a so-called double comparative ("much more thicker") with aplomb is evidence that the form is grammatical for her, whose usage is either an idiolect or based on a dialect. In spontaneous spoken speech it cannot be called "ungrammatical" for those for whom it is grammatical.

Briefly, yes I have heard (and read) other native speakers of English use double comparisons. A somewhat famous instance in written English is

Clara Basil is the most strangest person I know.

This sentence, which appeared in the US newspaper The Atlanta Constitution has been referred to in several studies of the usage of the "double comparative" in both British and American English. It is a feature of some people's language. In the dialect called current standard (written) English, it is an error. It seems dialectal in both the US and the UK.

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This is called a double comparative (DC). While it is considered incorrect in Standard English, some dialects of American English use it:

According to Wlodarczyk (2007), it is associated with Appalachian English and African American Vernacular English (see also Montgomery 2008:267), though it may be found in other North American dialects as well, such as Newfoundland English (Clarke 2004:314).
Yale — Double comparatives

It's entirely possible that the speaker finds double comparatives perfectly natural. It's also entirely possible that she simply made a mistake.


A little history:

The Wlodarczyk paper brings up some interesting information. It says that double comparatives were used a little in Old English, much more in Middle English, but in Shakespeare's time they were controversial:

As far as [Early Modern English] is concerned, particularly well known is the presence of DC in Shakespeare, (e.g., Blake 2001) and there is evidence that DC was a feature of high style (González-Díaz 2004: 192). For instance, in Ben Jonson’s 1640 English grammar, it is viewed as “imitating the manner of most ancientest and finest Grecians”. At the same time, however, other early modern grammarians (Greaves in 1594 and Butler in 1636) saw it as outdated or recommended its avoidance (Dons 2004: 56), indicating the decreasing acceptability of the form. DC was thus prevented from becoming part of standard English grammars by the standardisation-related preferences for uniformity of coding and economy.

  • What would be the "correct" version. I say this because the OP is under the impression that "more thick" is more better :) – Mari-Lou A Apr 25 '18 at 16:51
  • @Mari-LouA Thicker is correct in Standard English. – Laurel Apr 25 '18 at 16:53
  • I know that, I posted it in the comment, and added a link too. But it's the OP who sustains that more thick is correct. Your answer ignores that point. – Mari-Lou A Apr 25 '18 at 16:55

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